Now I know it’s completely ironic that someone who is so connected – me – is talking about a digital detox.
As a matter of fact, I have tried detoxing in the past from phones, as well as social media generally and I can honestly say that it definitely benefitted me. I’ve never felt so calm and in control of my life; and for someone so OCD as me, I need to be in complete control of anything in order for me not to go completely insane.
Then again, not knowing what’s happening on Instagram, especially as a teenager, means I’m most likely the one to get FOMI of all ages or categories of people. Unfortunately, that was just a bridge I had to cross when I decided to take a break from social media. After crossing that bridge and overcoming that fear / anxiety, I felt so much more in the moment than I ever had, and it’s the most rewarding feeling I’ve ever felt.
I’ve read countless articles about digital detoxing, but I’ve never come across an article written by a teenager, someone between the ages of 13-20, who has done the same detox and documented it. I feel it’s one thing to be an adult and not use your phone, in my opinion, it’s much easier. Teenagers of our generation have grown up with social media, a new perspective of society – a digital society.
It’s so incredibly sad to see people addicted to Wifi, addicted to sharing every single drink they consume, every person they see. Why not actually see the person?
As a little story time: the other week, I was in the Pizza Hut in our Limassol Marina. It was a really nice day, a lot of people were out, having lunch, as was I with my mum and my sister. We got a table and sat down to order our food, when I noticed two young ladies, who were probably around 25-30 years old sitting at a table, opposite each other. Never have I ever seen anything as sad as what I’m about to describe. One lady took out a selfie stick and started pouting, obviously taking photos by herself while the second lady did the same thing, only sitting opposite her. This continued for about 20 minutes before their dates obviously arrived. Two young men sat next to each lady, making a total of 4 people sat at one table.
The first lady started FACETIMING a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON, not including any of the other 3 people in the conversation. The young men talked amongst themselves while the second lady took out her selfie stick again. All in all, the only conversation I witnessed was between the two young men, whilst the two completely self-absorbed women were completely disconnected from their meeting with their friends.
I think the reason this story stuck with me is because it really opened my eyes about how terrible our generation really is.
I’ve never seen such a self absorbed generation in the history of mankind.
So when people ask me why I decided to temporarily disable my Instagram account for a while, the answer is very simple – I want to connect with people who are present. The only reason I think our phones should be used is to communicate with people who cannot be physically present.
I’ve stopped taking my phone to school with me, while I thought that would be a real challenge. To my surprise, it was a lot easier than I thought; in fact, I didn’t even notice I didn’t have it until someone mentioned they sent me a message on Instagram – but then again, they sent me the message, knowing they would physically see me that same day.
Since I’ve stopped relying on my phone for things I can replace it with, I’ve noticed my concentration spike up, my ability to communicate has improved, my memory and grades have improved. Of course, without a doubt, our generation of people need mobile phones, seeing as our world has adapted to not being able to live without them.
However, if I was to recommend anything to improve yourself, a self care tip if you like – deactivate your social media for at least a few weeks and watch your perspective of life shift. It’s actually expressly interesting how having to know what other people are doing can reflect on what we are doing. By watching other people’s days go by, we’re actually wasting ours.
Time is valuable – be present while you can.